Home again.

Jun 15, 2007 | | 0 comments |

Home again, complete with luggage. Thank you American Airlines.
The show was a roaring success. Well - at least as much of a success as a 'wallpaper' show can be. The third day is always a drag. The organisers need to can it after the second day as the morning of the third day is a total waste. Two of the salesmen said they stick behind and help us to break down the booth and ship it. I tried pointing out to them that it would happen extremely quickly but off they went to get changed. By the time they came back, we were rolling up the last of the cables and screwing the last crate shut. It barely took us 90 minutes to go from fully functioning booth down to grubby carpet covered in shipping crates.
Now I'm back I've rescued some of the images from my CrappyCellphoneCam(™). The top one is the 1:50 scale 787 that Alteon had on their booth. The second one shows the fantastic wiring job used to get all the external booth lighting working. Top notch IEEE wiring job, that is. The other two are what happens when you need to make an emergency run to Home Depot to get some plants for the booth.
Enjoy.

Day 2 down. Half a day to go.

Jun 13, 2007 | | 0 comments |

Another day of low traffic and sore feet. That's the nature of WATS/RATS though. Good news is that the important people were here and were suitable schmoozed. We had dinner tonight at an incredible steakhouse. Lynne and Jade came along. For a day at Disney and a dinner out, Jade was incredibly well behaved for a very tired 6-year-old. Tomorrow is a half day with tear-down at 13:30 at which point another trade show will have come to an end.

I hate suits

Jun 12, 2007 | | 1 comments |

I really hate suits. They're uncomfortable in every way, they make you look like an organ-grinder's monkey, and worst of all, it changes the way people treat you. This moring at breakfast it was all sir-this and sir-that. Yesterday, when I was dressed normally, they could barely give me the time of day. It irritates the piss out of me that people think that just because you're wearing a suit you should be treated differently. Why couldn't they have some common courtesy yesterday morning? I'm the same person. Just because I'm wearing a suit doesn't mean I deserve any more attention than the person sitting next to me in normal clothes.
I really, really hate wearing a suit.

Margaritaville is jumping.

Jun 10, 2007 | | 0 comments |

We did good today. Got 95% of the booth up and running - just need to do some tuning to the projector tomorrow and we're good to go. I got to try out my new phone as an MP3 player whilst I was working on the demos this afternoon - you know, for a phone it's a bloody good MP3 player. I've always been against phones that weren't just phones, but (and say it quietly in case anyone overhears), I think this is actually a good idea. Still not sold on the phone camera though...
Anyway, as a result we were done by 19:30 tonight so I took off to Universal Boardwalk for dinner at Margaritaville. The place was jumping as usual and there were bazillions of people pouring out of Islands Of Adventure. Good food and good people-watching. Great way to spend an evening. Mind you, at about 3 this afternoon we wondered if we'd have a hotel left. Hurricane force winds, 3 inches of rain in 20 minutes, sewers backing up and Hell's own thunderstorm parked right over the hotel. Rain nearly stopped play, blowing under the doors near the conference rooms and blowing the front doors of the hotel open so we had the outdoor storm experience in the comfort of the lobby :-)

No service = automatic tip?

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Here I am in Orlando for the week. The trade show this year is at a spangly new hotel called the Rosen Shingle Creek. It's all very Las Vegas. I think they're trying to pull off a pirate ship theme. Either that or it's unbelievably tacky decor. The rooms all have high ceilings, light switches that you can't find in the dark, a bathroom sink which is so high off the ground it even makes me (1m 87cm tall) feel like I'm a kid at a washbasin, and the walls are all painted this interesting shade of cream which makes your eyes hurt to look at it in the light, and in the shadow looks like poo smeared on the wall. There's genuine authentic fake dark cherry wood furniture that looks like it came from the 1800's (except it's made of fibreboard) and a hyper revolting carpet that even the Little America would be proud of.
Anyway, I went for breakfast this morning to find my pet hate - a breakfast buffet (where Americans fill their plates with 3000 calories-worth of food, then nibble a bit of bacon and half a pancake and throw the rest away). I had my usual - cereal and toast, and was pleased to see it actually cost less than the buffet because perversely it's normally the other way around. Being a buffet, of course, it's self-service, so I was intrigued to see an 18% gratuity included on the bill. No problem, I thought, I'll just remove it at the till. And that's where it all went wrong. I tried to explain to the girl that putting a gratuity on the bill for a self-service buffet was bollocks but she wouldn't remove it. In the end she had to call the restaurant manager who explained that I was paying for the congeniality of the staff. I explained to him that a waiter throwing a menu at me, bringing a single glass of water to the table and insisting on calling me 'bud' wasn't worth a $2 tip. Perhaps if he'd got the cereal for me, or in any way given me some sort of service, it would have been different. I lost the argument of course and on top of that, there's a line on the bill for "additional tip", which the manager dutifully explained to me was where I really should be putting the tip. In disbelief, I explained to him again that at a self service buffet, there is no tip, and that if anything I was going to put a negative $2 in the "additional tip" line and take it off the bill. If they're going to automatically include something on the bill, don't have the balls to call it a gratuity. Just increase the price of the breakfast and be done with it.

Here's an additional tip : Don't automatically put a gratuity on the bill for a self-service buffet!
Idiots.